Here is a look at the first half of the season for the Miami Dolphins and a preview of what to expect in the second half:
First-half snapshot: Where do we start with the star-crossed Dolphins? They faced two or three seasons' worth of adversity in eight games. It started in training camp, with a season-ending knee injury to starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. From there, Miami had to overcome Hurricane Irma, a lost bye week, starting linebacker Lawrence Timmons unexpectedly going AWOL and offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigning after a video of him snorting a white substance surfaced on social media. Miami has also faced challenges on the field, including fielding one of the worst offenses in the NFL and quarterback Jay Cutler being sidelined by broken ribs. Through it all, the Dolphins (4-4) have won enough games to remain in position to make a playoff push. Grade: Average
Midseason MVP: Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is having his best season with the Dolphins -- and one of the best of his career. He is constantly taking on double-teams and still has 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. What's more, for the first time in his three seasons in Miami, Suh is raising the level of play of the teammates around him. The Dolphins are seventh against the run this season after being ranked 30th in that category last season.
Best moment: The Dolphins appeared headed for a blowout loss in Week 6, when they trailed the Atlanta Falcons 17-0 on the road at halftime. However, Miami scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to beat the reigning NFC champions 20-17. This was easily the Dolphins’ most impressive win of the season, and showed how dangerous they can be when they have it going in all three phases of the game.
Worst moment: We can pick a half-dozen strong candidates for this category. But on the field, Miami’s 40-0 blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 was an awful display of poor play and coaching. Off the field, Foerster’s video on social media and subsequent resignation was a major embarrassment for the organization. Dolphins coaches and players said they were caught completely off-guard.
Second-half outlook: The good news is the second half of the season probably can't be more chaotic than the first. At this stage, Miami’s biggest challenges are on the field. The offense must be consistent to have a chance at the postseason for a second consecutive year. Miami scored six points combined in three of the team's four losses. The Dolphins’ defense has improved compared to a year ago, but this group gets worn down at times when the offense struggles.